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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Saga of the Green & Blue Mutant Chiefs!

Today, I give you RPGPundit Presents #36: The Saga of the Green & Blue Mutant Chiefs! This is an adventure scenario for any Gonzo OSR game, but specifically part of my Last Sun setting.

This issue provides an open-ended adventure scenario that pits the Green Mutant tribe against the Blue Mutant tribe. It includes top personalities from each tribe, as well as a number of random encounters that may occur while wandering in the nearby woods.

Note that this adventure was recently played in my DCC campaign, and you can see the campaign update here

Will your PCs try to bring peace to the intergenerational war between the Green and Blue mutant tribes of the Tangled Wood? Or will they take a side, fighting with one tribe against the other? Or maybe just screw all that and take what they can get?
Will they discover the terrible truth about where Bearowls come from?

Find out in The Saga of the Green and Blue Mutant Chiefs, available from DTRPG, or from the Precis Intermedia Webstore! Either way, for just $2.99!

And while you're at it, be sure to pick up the rest of the great supplements in the RPGPundit Presents series:

RPGPundit Presents #1: DungeonChef!

RPGPundit Presents #2: The Goetia  (usable for Lion & Dragon!)

RPGPundit Presents #3: High-Tech Weapons

RPGPundit Presents #5: The Child-Eaters (an adventure scenario for Lion & Dragon!)

RPGPundit Presents #17: The Hunters (an adventure for Lion & Dragon!)

RPGPundit Presents #21: Hecate's Tomb (an adventure for Lion & Dragon!)

Stay tuned for more next week!


Currently smoking: Brigham Anniversary + Image Latakia

Monday, 18 June 2018

Masonic Hell Week (and 30 Courtly Events in Spanish)

Hmm. On second thought that headline seems more clickbaity than I intended. What I mean is that this is the week where a great deal of important stuff happens in Masonry, related to the Solstice, and so I'm going to be incredibly busy all week long.

If I miss a post altogether, don't be surprised.

Meanwhile, here's the Spanish Edition of 30 Courtly Events and Intrigues, which you can also buy on the Precis Intermedia Webstore.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Poker + H&H's Chestnut

Sunday, 17 June 2018

DCC Campaign Update: The Masturbation Hut

In our last session... well, actually, our last session was a complete sidebar because half the party was missing. But the point is that half the party was still down on the surface of the world of the Last Sun, having just helped one tribe of mutants murder another tribe of mutants. The other half was up on the Sun.


-"When I get up to Lol I'm going to try to find something good to buy with my credits!"
"There's nothing to buy on Lol! It's in ruins!"
"When we last went to Lol it was cool. Now it's basically sky-Venezuela."

-"So how far is the Azure Tower from here?"
"250 feet?"
"What? That has to be wrong."
"I know, I'm just making up stuff now."

-"You notice that in his time here, Lenny has gained a lot of weight."

-The Vegomagus calls for the PCs.
"Vegomagus? Who's that?"
"He's still alive? I thought he was dead."
"No, he's been in the Masturbation Hut all this time."
"You mean the Mad Hut?"
"They've renamed it in his honor."

-"Come into my hut for a moment."
"OK, but I'm leaving the door open so no one thinks we're doing anything weird."

-"The Vegomagus is totally wasted and emaciated by spellburn."
"Is that what the kids are calling it these days?"

-The PCs plan to leave for the Azure Tower in the hopes of getting teleported back up to Lol.
"We're sorry to see you go, and that you won't be joining us in our genocidal war against the Red Mutants."
"Yes, but I have to go help our people in other places."
"Is that what you do? Wander from place to place helping blue mutants to kill their enemies?"
"It's like a psychotic version of The Littlest Hobo."

-"Don't forget us!"
"How could we ever forget you, Vizi?! Or you, Catboy? Or you, Lenny! Or you... Masturbation Wizard."
"It's Vegomagus."

-"The Blue mutants give you guys some giant-owl jerky for your journey."
"And for the Vegomagus?"
"Some turnips, or apples or something."
"Not some turples? Or apnips?"
"Yeah, isn't everything hybrid in this fucking forest?"
"...Let's leave this place."

-"Using the Vegomagus' newly-aquired spell, you teleport.. to another part of the forest."
"I try again... oh, I fumbled."
"You get Senile Dementia."

-"um.. guys, with the Vegomagus as he is, should I.."
"No, Lenny!"
"I shouldn't try to heal him?"
"Oh... heal him."
"Wait.. what did you think I was going to ask?"
"I thought you were going to eat him!"
"No way!"
"So you do have limits!"
"Yeah, I'd never eat a vegan. They're not healthy."

-"We need to tie the Vegomagus to something, or he'll try to wander off."
"Anyone have a rope?"
"I have a long intestine!"

-"Hey, while the Vegomagus is like this, we should paint his face!"
"I have makeup!"
"This is like a pyjama party!"
"We should just smear his face with coal or something."
"So.. blackface??"

-"you see a stag."
"Not a StagElk or something?"
"No, you seem to have moved out of the interspecies-romance area of the Tangled Wood."

-They set up camp, in the middle of nowhere. In the middle of the night they're very suddenly beamed up to the Sun.
"I wake up screaming in terror!"

-Heidi, Roman, Captain Harry, Lady Halcon, and Republican Jesus are there in the teleport control.
"where the fuck were you people?"
"Committing genocide."
"Groovy, baby!"

-"It took you 9 entire days to commit genocide?"
"Ladies and gentlemen, the pacifist!"

-"Is mexican Jesus taking care of the hydroponics lab?"
"No, he's dead. The only Jesuses still alive are Republican Jesus and Korean Jesus."
"Yeah, but you could probably just get a new Jesus. You just have to take a pickup truck to the back of a Home Depot."

-The party members give the badly-weakened Vegomagus, blinded once again by the ambient light of the Sun, over to Mongo to play with.

-"How are we going to rescue Korean Jesus?"
"What if we have the Vegomagus challenge the Archemaster to a spell duel, as a distraction?"
"That probably wouldn't be a very long distraction."

-"Do you have acid?"
"You know, to damage people?"
"Do you mean literal acid, or the drug?"
"Whatever, either way no."

-When Sami comes looking for Anema, she's about to have sex with catboy in yet another epic mistake. Catboy hides out in Anema's closet, which turns out to be as enormous as Republican Jesus' armory.

-Sami convinces Anema not to do it with the catboy.
"Way to cockblock."

-"Vizi's plan is to convince the archemaster to join us in stopping Zozzsz, and give him the advanced magic missile spell."

-"Sami's plan is to hook up Anema with the Archemaster."
"How would you get her to want to?"
"He's pathetic."
"Yeah, but is he just pathetic like the Vegomagus? Or is he pathetic and adorable like the Catboy?"
"Ok, well, he's also really powerful though! She likes that."
"Sort of like he was a nerd with money."

-When Vizi, Roman and Republican Jesus finally get off their weed-driven delays and arrive at the armory, they find Lady Halcon there. She's piled herself up with guns, rifles, nunchuks, throwing stars and what looks like Captain America's shield.
"Hey guys, am I the only one who's just got huge wood from seeing her?"

-Sami comes to get Mongo but leaves the Vegomagus alone, and blind.

-Hours later, the Vegomagus is still wandering blindly, lost in the endless corridors of the Sun.
"Who is it??"
"It's Bort!"
"Oh thank goodness! I need help!"
"No, I need help!"
"I'm blind!"
"I've broken both my legs!"
"Is Bort played by Will Farrell?"

-The rest of the party is trying to decide between various plans.
"Ok, so plan 1 is to ally with Bolt-1. No one thinks this is a good idea except the Catboy."
"Plan 2 is to make Vegomagus fight a wizard-duel with Archemaster while we rescue Korean Jesus."
"Plan 3 is we give the scroll of Advanced Magic Missile to the Archemaster to win him over."
"Plan 4 is we use Anema to seduce the Archemaster."
"And Plan 5, courtesy of Lady Halcon is 'we just kill everyone'."

-After much more discussion, there's a tie between the plan to offer the Archemaster an alliance (with the offering of the magic missile scroll, and asking his help to defeat the Demon Zozzsz), and Lady Halcon's 'just kill everyone' plan.
"When Lady Halcon's plan came to a vote I was scared NOT to raise my hand."
"Yeah, that's how you lose a hand!"
"Damn it.. you know what this means..."
"It means the Vegomagus is the tie-breaker. We're going to have to go find him."

-Heidi flies around until he finds the Vegomagus and Bort, who are slowly trying to make their way back, the badly weakened Vegomagus dragging Bort along while Bort acts as his eyes.
"Right, I'm taking you back."
"Wait noooo don't leave me behind.. oh wait, you took me!"
"Yeah, we don't need Bort."
"I'm just not used to being the one chosen second-last."

-"well Vegomagus, which of the plans do you vote for?"
"I vote for both!"
"Goddamn it, then that's still a tie!"
"I guess we have to go get Bort."
"Bort's still alive?"
"I'm surprised. I was hearing his desperate prayers but then they stopped. I figured he was dead, but I guess he just lost all hope."

-At the end they decide to go with the plan of the alliance, though the Vegomagus wants to transcribe the scroll of advanced magic missile into his own spellbook.
"Vegomagus could go back to the Masturbation Hut in the blue mutant village. Oh no wait, we couldn't because Heidi is a Green Mutant."
"Oh yeah, by the way Heidi, your people are delicious!"

-"Hey, why don't we go to Fuck Station Aleph?"
"NO goddamnit. We're not getting any more distracted. We're putting him on a barren rock, with no side-quests."
"Cue narrator voice: there was going to be a side-quest."

-Heidi and the Vegomagus teleport to a tiny little asteroid, with a flower, a tiny volcano, and the long-dead corpse of a small well-dressed child.

-"The vegomagus left Sami 1500gp for her to try divine aid to summon him up something that would raise his intelligence. Good luck with that."
"I rolled a Natural 20."
"Seriously? OK goddamn it. A pair of fake elf-ears appear."
"I try them on."
"You feel smarter."
"Really? I would have bet the opposite."
"Well, socially more dumb."

-"Where did you get those?"
"They were summoned for me, to make me smarter."
"Wow, I haven't seen Ears of Spock in years."

-"OK, so now we go to Lol with Anema."
"Hey, where's Anema?"
"I saw her going off toward her room with the Catboy."

-"I rush to interrupt them!"
"No, they left more than a minute ago. Their activity was long since done."

-After dragging Catboy and Anema out of her bedroom, the team heads down to Lol. They end up in a market area, and find a Lolri selling ID cards.
"Ha! Catboy's ID says he's named Anesh Gupta."
"Sami is Busty St.Clair."

-"We seek an audience with the Archemaster."
"The Archemaster doesn't take walk-ins. Who are you?"
"I'm Anesh Gupta."
"He's the ambassador from Minotauria!"
"We're from the Sun!"
"Uh, yeah, Sun City, Minotauria!"

-As they're marched in by the suspicious council-guard sargeant, Sami casts Lotus Stare to hypnotize him and they shove him into a bathroom.
"Did you pull his pants down?"
"Oh, hold on one sec..."
"Did you pee on him??"
"What the fuck Vizi?! How high are you??"

-"Lenny could dress as a guard!"
"Lenny's not here, vizi."
"OK, then let's dress catboy as a guard instead."

-"You're not a very convincing guard, Catboy."
"I'll play the part.. let me escort you, sir!"
"Sami's a woman, Catboy."

-"Wait, wasn't Catboy supposed to be the Ambassador?"
"Oh, yeah."
"Heidi can be the Ambassador, I guess."
"Yeah, I have the ring."
"Yes, all ambassadors have rings!"
"No, dumbass, the ring of human control."

-They go up the lift and run into a couple of guards on the top floor.
"OK, you two are dismissed."
"Yes sir!"
"So they're gone, now where's the Archemaster?"
"Not here. You're a hallway."
"Oh. I have dismissed them too soon..."

-"Wait a minute, we can't be an embassy from Minotauria! We're not minotaurs."
"Everything about our plan so far is wrong."
"There's some more guards up ahead."
"fuck it, I just attack them!"

-The guards being slain, they run into some impressive doors.
"I kick the doors down."
"They're sliding doors."
"I kick the doors sideways."

-"This was not the plan, guys."
"It is now!"

-"We want to see the Archemaster."
"You killed those men!"
"Yeah, sorry about the mess."

-"Everyone keep your guards up."
"Vizi killed them all!"

-The Archemaster arrives.
"Hello, I'm Anema, the spirit of the Sun. I suppose you're the rich wizard?"

-The Archemaster appears interested; he asks Anema to step closer, and when she does he shouts 'now!' and beam of light shines down on the rest of the party; Sami casts divine aid to try to teleport them away, but both events seem to happen at the same time.
There's a few moments where everything seems to swirl, and then they find themselves in a place full of fog, very similar to the one the Vegomagus had been trapped in not too long ago.

-"Where the hell are we?"
"Where I was before!"
"The Masturbation Hut?"

-"No, it's the Nether Zone."
"There's no such thing as a 'nether zone'. There's the Nether Regions, but that's not where we are. This is the Neutral Zone."

-"I cast Detect Magic."
"All the mist around you is vaguely magical."
"Vaguely? Like Neutrally? Is it Neutral magic because we're in the Neutral Zone?"
"Neutral magic is the worst kind of magic!"

-"We go east."
"There is no east!"

-"I consult the King of Elfland to figure out where we are and how to get out of here."
"Hello, King of Elfland?"
"Who's this?"
"The Vegomagus!"
"Where the hell are you boy?"
"Somewhere full of mist."
"You're in the deep Neutral Zone. How the heck did you get there?"

-After a long pointless conversation with the King of Elfland, he finally tells the Vegomagus to head in a certain direction.
"Where will that lead us?"
"The Door of 16 Gates."
"What's that?"
"Good luck, boy, you're in for a mighty big side-quest."
"See you later, if you survive. Frankly, I'd be surprised."

-"Hey before you go, King, can you go to the Sun?"
"No, I'm not allowed to drive at night anymore."

-The party reaches a cave, and inside the cave has a single door, with a strange mechanism.
"It was supposed to be a cave with 16 rooms, wasn't it?"
"I guess not."
"I feel ripped off."

-The PCs realize that altering the door's mechanism changes the location to which the door opens. They check out various of these locations very cautiously. Eventually it opens up to a city, which they realize is Arkhome (after interrogating a drunken hobo). They take note of the setting and keep exploring the doors.

-At one point, they open a door to find Queen Priscilla of the Grey Realms there.
"You son of a bitch, you brought me here!"
"I did not, I just saw you in a pool and suddenly I was in a forest."
"Yeah, well, I was in the forest all cool looking for a megabomb and then this happened!"
"Wait, why were you looking for a megabomb?"
"Because I was exiled from Coolland by Harembe, after he said I was being a bad influence on Queen Zoey; but he's just totally jelly because she likes me more and he's a total liar anyways and his girlfriend probably gave him chlamydia!"

-They open the next door and see a lush fertile land, with a golden castle in the distance and a stunning rainbow.
"I kick Priscilla through the doorway and close the door really fast."
"Damn it, Sami, we could have explored that one!"
"This was more important. Even I'm not that desperate for a female friend."

-"I thought it was good to see Priscilla again for a moment. You know, just as a reminder that things can always get worse."

-The last door setting left is a lush verdant arcadia that looks paradisical.
"Ok, that one is DEFINITELY a trap. We're done here."

-Just in case, Sami does Divine Aid, and G.O.D. confirms that going to Arkhome is the fastest way to get the job done.  With that, the PCs step through, hoping there won't be another side quest, though fairly sure there will be.

That's it for this time. Stay tuned next time for more DCC awesomeness!


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Poker + Fox's St. James Flake

PS: the "door" in this adventure is from RPGPundit Presents #25: The Door of 16 Gates. Available now!

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Classic Rant: "Old School" vs. "New School"

So, I have an earlier blog entry where I've told my readers that they can post questions and/or requests for rant topics from me. I will periodically respond to any of these I think I can do a good job at answering. So if you have something you want to ask me, or ask me to write about, go to that entry and put your question/request in the comments!

Today, we have a question from Omer G. Joel: "I'd like to read your opinion about "new school" D&D, that is 3.5E/4E, as I got the impression (am I right?) that you are closer to the Old School in your tastes and views."

Thanks! And yes, if you've read my blog, and especially if you've read my RPGs, it's no secret at all that I am an old-school gamer, and I always have been.

That doesn't mean that I have a dislike for new-school, just that I prefer Old-School a bit more. Well, OK, a LOT more.

I started playing D&D with B/X/C/M/I and 1st edition. When 2nd came out in '89, I followed along with it. As much of a bad reputation as it has today, in its early days and to a teenage gamer, it looked a lot like the old edition only with a few slight improvements. It incorporated a lot of stuff that a lot of us were already doing.

Shortly after, the Rules Cyclopedia had come out. By that point I was just starting to get to the level of maturity where I realized that more rules doesn't automatically mean 'better game', and having always had a great liking for the old basic sets and for Mystara as a setting, I got totally hooked on the RC. It would be my de-facto D&D ruleset for many years to come, though I still played 2e when someone else was running it.

Of course, over the next few years, TSR started to fall into the sinkhole of its destitution of good ideas and allowing White Wolf to steal the 'vanguard' of the hobby from them (and being completely reactive by just trying to steal style and concepts from them). In other words, TSR started to suck. For a period in the late 90s I pretty much stopped buying RPG products altogether, though I kept running games. Eventually, the 'White Wolf' effect had so altered the hobby that it was becoming hard to even interact with players who hadn't fallen for the whole 'storytelling' bullshit and expecting that from their game experiences. There was a while there where I was only running Amber, and then when the Amber campaign ended, there was a period of six months where I didn't play/run RPGs at all. This was, by the way, the longest period of my entire life since starting in the hobby that I went without gaming.

Then 3e came along. And at first, it was great! People tend to forget just how strongly it was a repudiation of the "storytelling" pretentious White-Wolf nonsense. The 3.0 DMG was all but explicit about that, calling it a "kick in the door" style of gaming, in contrast to the storytelling stuff. It felt, in those very first couple of years, like it was a return not mechanically but conceptually to an old-school style. I got back on the horse, and ended up running a D&D campaign. I also got into the D20 system as a whole, running various other D20 campaigns (including a very long Star Wars campaign). But by around 2004 I was back to running D&D old-school (mechanically old school with the RC, I mean; I had always been running it with an old-school style), and I think my last D20 game (Star Wars) ended in 2008 or 2009.

So anyways, the thing is that there's more than one 'new school'. Old-school is pretty definable; though you could divide it into games that are MECHANICALLY old-school and games that are old-school in style. 'New School' has several different forms: there was the 'new school' of 90s games, totally affected by White Wolf's style. There is the new-school of the 2000s, which started with 3e/D20, and which is pretty much continued in many games today, including 5e. There's even the possibility of incorrectly defining the Forge/Storygames as yet another kind of 'new school', though in fact it is best defined as "a totally different hobby". Even so, you can still say there are new-school games that are RPGs but have allowed themselves to be influenced by Forge/Storygame thinking in some way.

If you like Old-School, you can pretty much just say "I like old-school". On the other hand, you can't just say "I like new-school" and take that to mean anything at all; the most likely reason to say "I like new-school" is if you're really making the statement that you don't like Old-school The second most-likely is as a statement to say that you like some games other than Old-school. New-school has no positive definition, it is only defined by what it isn't (old-school).

In terms of D&D, I think the differences between old-school and new-school (that is, what isn't old-school) became apparent over time with 3e, when it was obvious that things like the emphasis on balance, rules-mastery, and character-engineering gradually took away a lot of the old-school style from 3e and turned it into a very different thing. Something that to me seems bloated and far less effective at immersion than OSR games. 

4e obviously doesn't count, it was largely a forge-influenced hijacking of gaming, and failed miserably.

5e has tried to keep a lot of the better elements of 3e, but pushed even harder back toward the old-school style (I helped a little with this). It is simpler, less dependent on rules-mastery (that is, the player who has read every page of every D&D book is not going to have an insurmountably better-designed character than the one who hasn't), and leaves a lot more room for the GM to maneuver. It isn't an old-school game, but it's design is very strongly old-school influenced (by myself, among others).

I liked 3e in its very nascent period. I like 5e today, and hope it won't eventually follow the same (flawed) evolution that 3e did.

There's a lot of other new-school games I like a lot. Amber is obviously one of them, and Lords of Olympus is proof enough of that. More recently, I've run a couple of different FATE-based games (Starblazer, and ICONS). When you take out the more storygame-influenced junk from the system, FATE isn't bad at all.


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Quiete Apple + Gawith's Commonwealth

(Originally posted March 10, 2016)

Friday, 15 June 2018

What is Involved in an "Anderson-esque" Lords of Olympus Campaign?

So I've had a few people asking about my latest campaign of Lords of Olympus.

First off: yes it's full. No it's not online, it's in person like I always do it. No, there's not a space, not even if you fly all the way down to Uruguay for it.

Now that this is out of the way, here's a few more questions, that came up after my first play posts.

1. You mention one player won the auction for immortality. I have never played LoO, so please excuse my asking: Is Immortality a power you can buy?

In Lords of Olympus, the bidding war is for only the four ability scores. However, GMs are encouraged that they could add other items to the bidding war to suit their campaign. In my campaign, since the PCs are staring out low-powered and without access to divinity, having one player already be divine would be a tempting option, and indeed it was.

2. What I'm also interested in is how you handle the growing-into-godlings thing. How do you manage that? Can the players buy powers during campaign? Do you guide them towards opportunities to gain powers? 

The players will be able to buy powers during the campaign, based on what they've been roleplaying. I don't guide them inherently; in my experience PCs have little trouble with seeking out power all by themselves.

3. What do you mean exactly by "Anderson-esque"?

In the post where I'd explained my plans for this Lords of Olympus campaign I talked about it being "Andersonesque".

Andersonesque means the campaign will feel a little bit like the worlds created in the films of Wes Anderson.  So what features does this type of campaign have?


Eccentric people with weird projects.

Dysfunctional families.

Fathers and Sons.


Recurring actors.

Nostalgia or retro-style.


Defining or understanding Family.

Clippy dialogue.

Appreciation of art or beauty in weird ways.

Finding or losing love.

Incredibly self-obsessed characters.

Idle wealth leading to weird behavior.

People wearing funny uniforms.

 Men wearing shorts.

The ridiculous being treated as if it's totally normal.

Exceptionally mature children or teens.

Exceptionally immature adults.

Bill Murray probably shows up at some point.


Currently Smoking: Mastro De Paja Bent Apple + Country Doctor

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Video: Things They Taught You Wrong on Purpose!

Today's video, the first in a series where I talk about common ideas about playing, GMing and designing RPG/D&D material that newbies are routinely taught wrong (often on purpose).  Check it out!

(also guest-starring both my cats)

Tell me what other things you think gamers are taught wrong about playing, running or designing the game!


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Volcano + Blue Boar

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Secrets of the Nethercity Kickstarter

Hey everyone; I'm trying to catch up with the RPGPundit Presents work, so for today I'm just going to point you toward Autarch's latest Kickstarter: Secrets of the Nethercity!

So what is this?

It's basically a new megadungeon, though Autarch insists on calling it a "kilodungeon" because they're worried people will complain that 240 rooms is not enough to constitute a megadungeon. Frankly, I think that 240 rooms is like a sweet spot of "really big dungeon but not so stupidly big that you'll never use it all unless you dedicate an entire campaign just to that".

It's also got new monsters, items, classes (for ACKS of course, though the whole OSR is pretty interchangeable), and a new city (Cyfaraun). The city and the sewers below it will get expansions if the kickstarter reaches stretch goals.

Maybe the most exciting thing I noticed about it is cartography by the excellent Dyson Logos!

Also some great art credits.

Anyways, it sounds like a great OSR product in the classic vein, so if you're interested check it out.

Note: this is not a review, as I have no special information about the product besides what's on the Kickstarter. Nor is this an ad: I am not involved in the project nor am I being paid in any way for posting this. I just wanted to give a shout-out to the great Alex Macris and support his latest endeavor.


Currently Smoking: Neerup Poker + Country Doctor